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Manchester-based software-as-a-service company Pimberly made headlines in November after securing £6.5 million in investment.

The company will use a chunk of the money to expand into the US as well as develop new products and accelerate its growth acquisition plans in the UK.

Pimberly’s product information management platform helps retailers, distributors and manufacturers to increase sales – and its founder and CEO Martin Balaam is unapologetic about putting growth before profit.

“It’s burning cash,” Balaam tells TechBlast’s latest Going 4 Growth roundtable. “We won’t be turning a profit for a while.

“From my point of view it’s a SaaS business so, as long as my growth metrics and customer acquisition costs are right, and there’s demand for my product and further investment, I don’t intend to be profitable until I have to be.

“The UK side of the business will become profitable in the next 18-24 months. We’re just starting in the US and I don’t expect that to be profitable for three to four years.

“We’re in the process of building a business. Once you take your foot off the growth pedal we should move to profitability.”

Startups should follow ‘scientific method’ to success

Pimberly’s fast-expanding customer base includes high-profile companies like Ellis Brigham, JD Sports, Monsoon, FGH, Exertis and Brightstar.

The latest Series B funding round includes £4.3m from Mercia Asset Management, comprising £1.4m from its own balance sheet alongside a further £2.9m investment by the Mercia-managed Northern VCTs.

The rest of the £6.5m has come from two other existing investors.

Outlining his growth ambitions, Balaam says: “We’re trying to achieve 100% growth year-on-year. As you get bigger that gets harder.

“In the medium term we’re looking to get to £10m annual recurring revenue in the next two to three years with a growth rate ideally in excess of 100%, but at least 50%; and with a customer acquisition cost that is coming down.

“As well as looking to win new business it’s important not to lose any customers because nobody wants to buy a leaking bucket.

“We have created a world-class product and we’re very excited to be able to now take this to the USA and scale Pimberly to the next phase of growth.”

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